Thanks to the CV parents who attended Monday evening’s community forum on the Pennsylvania Core Standards (PCS) and to our school board for selecting an important topic to discuss further in that setting. As an epilog, I want to summarize our presentations and discuss some of the concerns our parents voiced during the program.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education Thursday released the latest School Performance Profiles (SPPs) for all schools in the commonwealth, and Conestoga Valley again performed very well. Some of our schools saw scores improve, while others declined slightly. I want to add some context and explain how we use this data at CV.
Worldwide concern continues to grow about the possible spread of the Ebola virus. Here at Conestoga Valley, we are receiving regular updates from several different resources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Pennsylvania Department of Health. While these agencies reassure us that any impact on our schools is not likely, I want to share with you some information about the disease and what we can do to make any local incidence even more unlikely.
Letters to the editor are still being published regarding one of our neighboring school district’s invitation to a nationally-known speaker to address students on the topic of abstinence. LNP took an editorial position against the invitation, but I think we need to return to the central issue. I agree with many of you who commented on the issue on our Facebook post. We should focus on the message, not the messenger.
If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen a special announcement yesterday about a new online store for officially-licensed Conestoga Valley apparel. I want to encourage everyone in the CV community to check it out! There is a link on our homepage, or you can find the store at www.ConestogaValley.org/shop. I also want to explain the benefits of this program.
Property tax reform is back in the news, after the Senate Finance Committee narrowly passed Senate Bill 76, which would largely replace property taxes with higher state sales and income taxes. Our school board and I agree that Pennsylvania relies too much on property taxes to fund education. But any change is not necessarily progress.
We have been here before, and it is worth reiterating my concerns about the process. Ill-considered reforms can lead to a loss of local control, an increase in collection costs and a more regressive state tax code.
Over the summer, I tweeted some news about the Lancaster County Academy with the intention to elaborate on the issue when I returned to regular blogging.
The Academy, or LCA, celebrated its 20th anniversary last school year. It is a business and education partnership funded voluntarily by school districts across Lancaster County to help students who lacked success in traditional school to turn their lives around. In those two decades, it has graduated more than 700 students. Check out some of their stories from this year’s graduation.